A veteran coach with impressive credentials from the pro and college ranks, Joe Pendry begins his fourth year at Alabama serving as assistant head coach and offensive line coach. Pendry's offensive lines at Alabama are credited with being among the nation's best year in and year out. That success is a credit to Pendry as his formula for creating a unit based on toughness, unmatched preparation and an outstanding knowledge of the game gives the Crimson Tide the edge against opposing defenses at the line of scrimmage.
Losing three starters, including All-Americans Andre Smith and Antoine Caldwell, seemed to be the biggest question mark for Alabama entering the 2009 season. Pendry took that challenge and put together a starting five that not only helped clear the way for a Heisman Trophy winning tailback in Mark Ingram, but also provided outstanding protection for first-year quarterback Greg McElroy. Left guard Mike Johnson earned All-America honors, giving Pendry three All-Americans in the last two years. Redshirt freshman Barrett Jones started all 14 games at right guard and was named a freshman All-American.
Pendry's experience was the key in the development of what many analysts regarded as the nation's best offensive line in 2008. The group of Smith, Johnson, Caldwell, Marlon Davis and Drew Davis only missed a total of four starts between the five of them and cleared the way for one of the nation's top rushing attacks. Smith won the Outland Trophy and was a as consensus All-American while Caldwell was also listed on several All-America teams. Johnson was also a second-team All-SEC selection.
In 2007, Pendry saw Smith earn first-team All-SEC honors and win the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the league's top offensive lineman. In addition, Caldwell was a second-team All-SEC selection playing all three positions on the offensive line.
With 19 years of NFL coaching experience, Pendry joined head coach Nick Saban's staff in January of 2007. Pendry has worked with six different NFL clubs and has been to the playoffs 11 times in his career. His most recent stop was with the Houston Texans, where he served as offensive line coach and offensive coordinator in 2004 and 2005. Prior to that, Pendry worked for three years under Dom Capers at the Carolina Panthers from 1995-97. Carolina posted a 27-23 overall record with one NFC championship game appearance over those three seasons. He has served as an offensive coordinator with four NFL teams (Houston, Carolina, Buffalo and Kansas City).
A native of Matheny, W.Va., Pendry was a three-sport star at Oceana High School, excelling in football, basketball and track. He was an all-state selection in football and basketball and was the West Virginia High School Lineman of the Year in 1964. Pendry played two seasons at West Virginia University (1965-66) before a career-ending injury allowed him to become a student coach (1967-68) before becoming a graduate assistant coach in 1969. He remained on the WVU staff as freshman coach (1970), wide receivers coach (1971-72), offensive line coach (1973-74) and offensive coordinator (1976-77).
Pendry also had collegiate coaching stints at Kansas State (1975), Pittsburgh (1978-79), and Michigan State (1980-81) before moving to the professional ranks. He was an assistant coach with the USFL's Philadelphia Stars (1982-83) before becoming head coach of the Pittsburgh Maulers in 1984. In 1985, he began his NFL coaching career, where he spent 19 seasons.
Pendry is a 1969 graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in physical education. Pendry and his wife, the former Sandi Barbera, have two children, Joe Jr., and Jill Koeppel, and five grandchildren (Sandra, Max and Katy Jo Koeppel; Jay and Casey Jane Pendry).